By Alison Bailin Batz
Washington Federal is one of the nation’s strongest banks. Within Arizona, it boasts $1.4 billion in deposits at its 31 branches.
But over the past several years, even after winning the Money Magazine’s “Best Bank” in the state, Washington Federal in Arizona still got the same questions over and over. Some of Arizona regional president Mike Brown’s favorites are:
• Is Washington Federal part of the federal government?
• Washington Federal is a credit union headquartered in DC, right?
• Is Washington Federal a prison?
“We got the message. People who don’t know us yet might not be able to tell what we do. We needed to address that challenge while making sure our bank would be clearly recognizable in all of our markets,” says Brown.
Washington Federal to WaFd Bank
As such, according to Brown, Washington Federal adopted its longtime nickname, WaFd Bank, as its trade name.
“It tells people we are a bank and is an abbreviation of our current name. We pronounce it Wah-Fed,” says Brown. “WaFd Bank aligns with our NASDAQ ticker symbol, which is WAFD. WAFDbank is also our name on social media.”
Along with the change came an entirely new logo as well. The new logo is created out of eight interlocking W’s, recognizing their Washington state roots and symbolizing how their branches across now eight states are linked together as a team across the markets they serve – bankers, clients and communities working together to fuel economic growth and strengthen neighborhoods.
“Customers will start to see changes in the digital arena and on the website very soon, including new email signatures, signage and other advertising materials throughout 2020,” says Brown, noting WaFd Bank is innovating every day, but still remains a friendly, accessible brand.
And a truly local one that cares about the community. “We’ve funded projects to expand a local airport, built safe housing, added dorms and other needed buildings for a university, and more,” says Brown.
He also launched community outreach program called ‘WaFd Focus on Arizona,’ wherein he empowers each and every member of our company in Arizona to work together to donate time and fundraise for causes they personally care about.
Finally, WaFd Bank Arizona walks the walk with real financial commitments to those who need it in Arizona via the WaFd Bank Foundation.
“The mission of the WaFd Bank Foundation is to facilitate direct donations to community-based nonprofits that are serving the needs of low and moderate-income individuals,” says Brown.
Among the local organizations that have benefitted from the Foundation in recent years are: Care Fund, UMOM New Day Centers, Habitat for Humanity, Central Arizona Shelter Services, International Rescue Committee, Pima County Community Land Trust, Right Turn for Yuma Veterans, Boys & Girls Clubs statewide, YMCA, Youth on their Own, Junior Achievement of Arizona, Chicanos Por La Causa and Save the Family.
This year alone the local team has volunteered over 2,200 hours and donated nearly $150,000 in grants.
For more, visit www.wafd.com.